Kashmir’s own government departments are defaulting on power bills. As per the official figures, the consumers who are among the top power defaulters in Kashmir are police, bureaucrats, legislators and government departments.
The CRPF is a major defaulter with outstanding in crores of rupees. The figures available lying with the Greater Kashmir reveal that the CRPF-157 Battalion (BTN) camp near Tatoo Ground has to pay power dues amounting to Rs 2 crores, CRPF-23 BTN camp near Assembly Complex have also an outstanding of Rs 2 crores.
Similarly CRPF-23 BTN camp near civil secretariat has to pay Rs 7 crores to the Power Development Department (PDD), CRPF-23 BTN camp near Karan Nagar has to clear power bills amounting to Rs 4 crores, CRPF-144 BTN camp has not paid Rs 1 crore liability to the PDD. There are many other CRPF battalions who are in the list of defaulters.
The information was provided by the power development department after an RTI activist MM Shuja filed an RTI seeking details about the outstanding amount of various central as well as state departments operating in Kashmir division till 31 August 2018.
The activist has further sought details of the amount to be paid by industrial units including hotels, hospitals in government as well as private sector as well as bureaucrats, officials and legislators.
In response to the RTI application, the PDD has provided a list of over 400 defaulters that have an outstanding in crores. The departments – state as well as central – have an outstanding of Rs 40.92 crores.
Next on the defaulter list is police that includes SSP Vigilance, Commissioner Vigilance, SSP control room (new secretariat Ist and 2nd) district police lines, SSP Security and many other offices associated with the police having an outstanding of over Rs 1 crore.
The PDD has submitted a list of 137 consumers that are yet to pay the power dues. The consumers that have the highest outstanding include Manager Central Market, CRPF Bunker Commandant Exhibition, CRPF Bunker Commandant Tengpora and Solina, Street lights SMC, Public Service Commission, Engineer Mechanic City Drainage Division and many other departments have to pay an outstanding of over Rs 10 crores to the power department.
The list also includes ministers, MLCs and MLAs who have not settled their power tariffs amounting to lakhs of Rupees.
Interestingly, the PDD has been blaming the common people, who are reeling under darkness in this winter chill, for not paying the power dues. But the figures reveal that PDD is also among the defaulters. The AEE (EM & RE STD-II) R/STN Karan Nagar has an outstanding of over Rs 4 lakhs. Similarly, Development Commissioner Power has to pay power dues amounting to over Rs 1 lakh and AEE (EM &RE–ESD Karan Nagar) has an outstanding of Rs 4 lakhs to its own department.